“Gov. Chris Gregoire plans to sign a bill on Monday that would allow project planners an option to fund environmental programs if they cannot comply with wetland mitigation requirements.
Currently, one of these programs has about $10 million in dues to small-forest landowners, according to officials in forestry.
Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, sponsored House bill 2238, which would allow public or private entities, looking to start projects, the option of providing monetary funds toward state environmental agencies in lieu of required on-site wetland mitigation.
‘(This option) is good for small private landowners,’ said Wilcox. ‘A lot of promises were made to them in the course of passing forestry regulations that were never fulfilled. So this is a way of helping them, without taking new taxpayer dollars,'” quoting Raechel Dawson, WNPA Olympia News Bureau, for the Auburn Reporter.